The Early Days of a Better Nation

Friday, October 03, 2003

Keeping stories straight

If I had more energy, gumption and time I could maybe aspire to writing something like Left I on the News but as it is I'll simply point to this neat vivsection of the latest spin about Iraqi WMD:

Kay has now fallen back on two stories. One is the preposterous idea that Iraq (usually referred by its first name, "Saddam") was "bluffing" about having WMD. The only minor thing wrong with that assertion is that Iraq proclaimed loudly to one and all (specifically to the UN) that it did not have any WMD. Curious bluff.

But the second story is one where we need to "keep our eye on the ball," because it's a true story. That is, that Iraq "may have retained civilian technology that could have been converted to WMD production capability on short notice." Overlooking the fact that that statement could undoubtedly be made about every industrial and semi-industrial country in the world, the key thing about this claim is that, even if true, it could not possibly have provided a justification for the invasion of Iraq. According to George Bush it was imperative that Iraq be invaded in March with no further delay. No more time for inspections could be tolerated, no more time to gather support for a UN resolution, no more time, period. The people of the U.S. and the world were in mortal danger from Iraqi WMD (not Iraqi WMD "programs" or the possibility that Iraq might one day reconstitute such a capability) and the U.S. had to invade immediately to prevent that danger.

The media should make note of this simple fact every time they mention the new cover story, but of course they won't. Kay and Bush are attempting to take our eyes off "the ball," which is the bogus claim that Iraq had WMD, massive stockpiles of them. "Retained civilian technology" is not the same thing as massive stockpiles of WMD ready to be fired in 45 minutes. Remember Condoleezza Rice's "mushroom cloud"? It appears that the Bush administration thinks we're the mushrooms, to be kept in the dark and fed bullshit. We can't let them get away with it.

In fact, 'Saddam was bluffing' looks set fair to join 'Saddam kicked out the weapons inspectors' as an endlessly recirculated lie.


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